To the editor:
I read with interest the column by Tom Hastings on ending gun violence in the June 24 paper (“Four steps toward ending gun violence”). While steps 2 and 4 have merit — closing U.S. bases around the world and investing in more dialog — I am absolutely opposed to repealing the Second Amendment.
The right to bear arms is there for one major reason. It gives citizens the capability to fight back when and if their federal government chooses to use the military on its own citizens. A few examples are Joseph Stalin in the U.S.S.R., Adolf Hitler in Germany and the leader in Cambodia. If you think it cannot happen here, you are being naïve.
After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, one major deterrent keeping them from invading California was their fear of facing the large armed citizenry. The world is full of ego-driven humans who enjoy their power over others. Every day we watch Congress pass new laws and regulations that remove our freedoms and choices. Most are not for my benefit, but they benefit all the lobbyists and companies making our representatives rich. Do you really think I can trust another bureaucracy to regulate guns, when the TSA officers at airport security recently missed 90 percent of the weapons set up as tests for them?
Better that we ask ourselves why so many people resort to a gun to solve their anger or depression issues. These young men who have committed these terrible crimes against innocent people must have a need to fulfill that I cannot possibly understand. If they did not use a gun, they could have built a bomb or simply drove a car into a crowd.
Why do I hear about shootings in Columbus every weekend that start out as a heated argument at a barroom? I believe that columnist Mariann Main — on the same page this day (“Killers’ parents share blame”) — made some very good points. When I was young, my parents taught me about guns. Never ever point them at anyone unless you intend to use it now. They also taught me to be willing to walk in another’s shoes (to see their point of view), before passing judgment on them. While they could have improved my anger-management training, I have worked on it myself. Yes, I felt the paddle sometimes when I was definitely wrong.
My daughters, like so many other children today, threaten to call the police if I try to discipline them. How many young men are now being reared by just one parent and most often no father. A father can show a boy that he can play rough and he can compete hard, but there is a time to cool down and accept defeat sometimes. Be willing to walk away when an argument escalates beyond your control.
We once knew a couple who had a 2-year old girl who threw tantrums in public, too — every time she did not get her way. Her parents were at a loss about what to do since she did not respond to reason. When my wife watched her, it only took a few firm swats on the diapered behind and she learned to follow her requests, like taking a nap. The mother used to wonder why she listened to my wife so well.
No one wants a child abused, but the government has empowered the child over the parents. Remember, Adolf Hitler encouraged the children to turn in their parents to the Gestapo if they spoke against his ideas and we saw where that went. A government strong enough to give you 100 percent security is strong enough to take away everything you have, including your life.